PRACTICE 14 (Scrimmaging/Game Situations)

Repetitions of even-man and game situations will be a big part of today's practice. The ideas that are drilled in controlled situations should be reinforced during the scrimmage.

First 5 Minutes (Review)

Bring all of the players and coaches together. Begin the practice by reiterating what was conveyed at the end of the last practice. Assess the progress made toward the goals for your season. Explain the plan for this practice. Address any questions the players may have.

Next 5 Minutes (Warm-up)

Divide the players into several lines on the midfield line facing one of the restraining lines. Go through repetitions of the following between the mid line and the restraining line: 50 percent run with high knees, butt kicks (lifting the legs up high in the back), side shuffle, running backwards; then 75 percent run; and 100 percent run.

During the warm-up, pull the goalies aside and have them work with one or two of the coaches.

Next 20 Minutes (Stick Skills)

Work contact drills as previously performed:

Stationary Passing

Diamond Drill

Box Drill

Next 15 Minutes (Ground Balls)

Repeat drills that were introduced during previous practices. They are as follows:

Single Line

One v. One (side-by-side)

Two v. One

Two v. Two

Three v. Two

Face-off Ground Ball Drill

Next 2 Minutes (Water Break)

Keep your players hydrated with a water break. But have them hustle back to the field. You can consider having this break during Stick Skills.

Next 15 Minutes (Even-Man Drills)

Two v. Two: Encourage the players to set picks. Also, have one player start on the crease with his defender guarding him. Have the other player with the ball start at another location on the field. Review how the defense is to slide if a defensive teammate gets beat by the offensive player. Also, explain how the offensive player needs to get open when his defensemen slide. Usually it is best for the offensive player who is off the ball to follow the slide and cut to the ball.

Three v. Three: Again start with a player on the crease. However, now you have two offensive players who are not on the crease as well. They should work their two-man games (picking or cutting through) and then dodge to the net. If a defensive slide comes to the ball, the player should move the ball as he recognizes the potential odd-man situation.

Next 2 Minutes (Water Break)

Keep your players hydrated with a water break. But have them hustle back to the field.

Next 15 Minutes (Scrimmage)

Review action from prior scrimmages and/or games. Talk to the players about skills that were done well and others that will help the players develop and understand the team game.

Then divide the players into two teams at each position. Let the players play in a controlled scrimmage setting. There will be a lot of different circumstances to teach as the scrimmage progresses, but it will be a lot of fun for both the players and coach. Now that you have introduced the Fastbreak Drill, if there are any penalties during the scrimmage, award the team that was fouled a fastbreak.

Right before the end of practice, blow the whistle and tell all the players to enter the game. Let them enjoy the game for one minute as it was originally played – it is a fun twist for the young players.

Ending Practice

In your team huddle, review what was learned and congratulate the players for their hard work. Also, establish the next practice time (or game time) with the players and parents, and follow up with an email.